The season of giving is fast approaching, and Hudson County towns will be home to multiple toy drives and giveaways this December.
Organizations in West New York, North Bergen, and Hoboken will be handing out toys to good girls and boys in the coming weeks.
Popular gifts this year include high-end electronics like PlayStations, as well as popular toys from last year such as Hatchimals.
According to Victor, an employee of Big Fun Toys in Hoboken for the past four years, there has been a sizable uptick in business as people are looking to spread holiday cheer.
“It ranges from boys and girls, but you start seeing what’s popular pretty easily for boys and girls around this time,” He said.
He said this year popular gifts for boys include Beyblades, a spinning top toy originally made popular in Japan, and Roblox figures, which are from the popular multiplayer online game and creation platform of the same name that allows users to design their own games and characters.
He said for girls, L.O.L Dolls are still a popular gift and were in fact the number one toy last year. They are collectable mini baby dolls. This year Wrapples, furry creatures that are worn wear on your wrist, are also popular.
In North Bergen, Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners are hosting the North Bergen C.A.R.E.S 2018 Toy Drive which will benefit local children in need.
The drive will be held until Wednesday, Dec. 19 with collection points located at multiple locations throughout North Bergen.
They request donations of new, unwrapped toys.
They can be dropped off at the North Bergen Health Department at 1116 43rd St. on the second floor, Town Hall at 4233 Kennedy Blvd, the second floor of the North Bergen Police Department at 4233 Kennedy Blvd. the North Bergen Parking Authority at 4225 Bergen Tpk., the North Bergen Public Library, at 8411 Bergenline Ave. and 2123 Kennedy Blvd., the Broadway Pharmacy, 7211 Broadway, as well as all North Bergen schools.
The toys will be given away on Dec. 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the North Bergen Recreation Center at 6300 Meadowview Ave.
Those in need of a meal or toys this holiday, contact Aimee Focaraccio at (201)392-0229 or email email@example.com.
West New York
Officers from the West New York Police Department work with the Waterfront Residents, a community group to purchase toys and clothes for children in need.
Lieutenant William Kelly said the police department receives information from DCCP on what children are in need.
The police department will also hand out toys on Friday Dec. 22 to unsuspecting boys and girls they seek out.
“We drive around town with the lights and sirens on and give toys to unexpecting children,” said Kelly who helps organize it every year. “Say we see a little boy with his mom walking, we will stop and give him a board game or something and tell him it’s a gift from us to you. It’s a surprise, but they enjoy it.”
Tommy Mannion, PBA president, works with the West New York Board of Education to throw a Christmas party for students every year.
This year the party will be open to second and third grade students and will be held at North Bergen Middle School on Dec. 15 at 9 a.m.
“We get about 300 boys and 300 girls so what happens is the PBA will buy all the super high end gifts like a PS4s or 50 inch TVs and we will get like 100 of those big gifts and then each kid gets a raffle ticket and has a chance to take one of them home,” said Mannion. “We like to give gifts that they could never afford to get.”
Mannion said Santa Claus will also makea special appearance at this year’s party and noted that every child who attends will get a small toy or other gift so no one will leave empty handed.
“It’s all worth it to see the smiles on their faces,” said Mannion.
The Hoboken Police Department and the Hoboken Fire Department was scheduled to host their annual toy drive Tuesday, Dec. 4. From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Toys could be dropped off at Hoboken Police Headquarters at 106 Hudson St. or the Fire House at 1313 Washington St.
They sought unwrapped toys which will be donated to children and local charities.
Hoboken Grace Community Church will be holding its fourth annual Christmas Exchange, to help make a memorable Christmas for families in need.
Those interested in participating can adopt a family in need at HobokenChristmas.com. where they will receive a Christmas wish list of needs for that specific family.
“I am so excited about the response this year and know the Hoboken community will show up big,” said Community Impact Director James Sproule. “Wish lists include a variety of items from winter hats and gloves, to grocery store gift cards or some of the latest toys. This event is a great opportunity to love your neighbor and be part of something bigger than ourselves.”
Supporting a child or family could cost as little as $25.
Gifts were scheduled to be dropped off on Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 and Hoboken Grace “elves” deliver them to the families. Last year the exchange supported over 1,000 families in Hoboken.